Consonance and dissonance in descriptions of teaching of university teachers
Studies on teachers' approaches to teaching have identified two qualitatively different categories of approaches. The learning‐focused approach is about teaching as facilitating students' learning and learning as knowledge construction, while the content‐focused approach concerns teaching as transmission of knowledge and learning as absorbing the transmitted information. The aim of the present study is to explore consonance and dissonance in the kinds of combinations of approaches to teaching that university teachers adopt. Ninety‐seven academics from a wide variety of disciplines were interviewed. The themes of the interviews dealt broadly with issues related to teaching in higher education. The results showed that some teachers were clearly and systematically either learning or content focused. On the other hand, profiles of some teachers consisted of combinations of learning and content focused approaches or conceptions, making their profiles dissonant. Three types of dissonance were identified. Explanations for the dissonance and implications of dissonant and consonant teaching profiles are discussed.